Explore South India on a Budget: Best Places to Visit in 2024

The Southern half of India has a distinctive essence and doused in a riot of rich cultures and colors. With a well-preserved cultural heritage, each state in South India has a galore of tourist attractions to offer. The elaborate and intricate temple designs, heritage sites, sculptures, misty hills, wildlife sanctuaries, palm-lined canals, and sandy beaches make the Southern half of India truly a tourist’s paradise. Gear up with all your travel equipment and craft your travel itinerary to explore all the astonishing places to visit in South India. 

The Beauty of South India

Embark on a captivating journey to South India – where vibrant culture intertwines seamlessly with thrilling adventures. Nestled in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, South India boasts a mesmerising tapestry of landscapes that offer a visual feast for the senses and enchant travellers around the globe. 

In this blog, we’ll unveil some of the best places to visit in May in South India that offer a bundle of adventures including the best hill stations and coolest places in South India to visit in May that you never want to miss. 

Best Places to Visit in South India in May

South India comprises 5 states, namely – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. Each state boasts a plethora of places to visit in May with diverse landscapes and unparalleled beauty awaiting your exploration. Let’s begin!

Best Hill Station in South India in May – Tamil Nadu

The iconic place to visit in May in South India, Tamil Nadu is known for its magnificent temples and cultural heritage. From the majestic Meenakshi Temple to the shores of Marina Beach, Tamil Nadu beholds visitors with its beauty and hospitality. 

1. Ooty and Coonoor, Tamil Nadu

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Ooty, the Queen of Hill Stations, balances the hustle and bustle of city life with expansive tea gardens. The charming bungalows from the British-Raj era add a romantic flavor to Ooty, making it one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in South India. Its famous miniature toy train is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a delight for people of all ages. One can take a toy train ride to Coonoor from Ooty another nearby hill station. Covering a distance of 19 km, the rail route offers a revitalizing travel experience. There are also museums, churches and a tea factory in Ooty that should find a place in your itinerary.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to June
  • Key Attractions: Government Botanical Garden, Government Rose Garden, The Tea Factory and Tea Museum, St. Stephen’s Church, Thread Garden, Nilgiri Mountain Railway Line, Government Museum, Doddabetta, Ooty Lake, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, Catherine Falls. Dolphin’s Nose, and Deer Park. Learn more about historical places in Ooty
  • Nearest Airport: Coimbatore International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Mettupalayam Railway Station
  • Places to Stay: Hotels in Ooty, Budget Hotels in Ooty, Couple Friendly Hotels in Ooty

2. Chennai, Tamil Nadu

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Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, is a blend of the old and the new. It is often described as the keeper of South Indian traditions. While on one hand, it flaunts spectacular architecture from the city’s past, on the other, it is known for its cosmopolitan lifestyle, quirky cafes and boutique stores. The city also boasts of the second-longest urban beach in the world. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, there’s plenty to do here. With something to offer to everyone, Chennai is one of the most visited family destinations in South India.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Key Attractions: Marina Beach, Kapaleeshwarar Temple, Government Museum, Edward Elliot’s Beach, Santhome Cathedral, Fort St. George, Guindy National Park, Parthasarathi Temple, Valluvar Kottam, Arignar Anna Zoological Park, DakshinaChitra, and B.M. Birla Planetarium. Learn more about historical places in Chennai
  • Nearest Airport: Chennai International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Chennai Central
  • Places to Stay: Hotels in Chennai, Budget Hotels in Chennai, Couple Friendly Hotels in Chennai

3. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu

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Fondly called the Manchester of South India, Coimbatore is best-known for its textile industry. This cool hill station in South India is also a pit stop on the way to Ooty and Kerala. Coimbatore is where people come to relax, put their feet up, and live the slow life. While you’re here, visit temples and museums that take you back in time and enjoy a picnic by the waterfalls.

  • Best Time to Visit: July to March
  • Key Attractions: Marudhamalai, Dhyanalinga, Siruvani Waterfalls, Black Thunder, Perur Pateeswarar Temple, Arulmigu Eachanari Vinayagar Temple, GD Naidu Museum, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Monkey Falls, Koniamman Temple, and Gass Forest Museum. Find more places to visit in Coimbatore
  • Nearest Airport: Coimbatore International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Coimbatore North, Podanur Junction, and Singanallur
  • Places to Stay: Hotels in Coimbatore, Budget Hotels in Coimbatore, Couple Friendly Hotels in Coimbatore, Business Hotels in Coimbatore

4. Gokarna, Karnataka

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Gokarna, a Hindu pilgrimage site in Karnataka, is best known for its beautiful beaches with white sand and swaying coconut palms. Apart from the beaches, Gokarna has a number of old and new temples. It is considered one of the popular tourist places for solo travelers in South India. Since the town has religious significance, there are a number of vegetarian-only restaurants but seafood places and a bar to relax in are not very hard to find.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Key Attractions: Om Beach, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Half Moon Beach, Kudle Beach, Paradise Beach, Maha Ganapathi Temple, Shiva Cave, Koti Teertha, and Sri Bhadrakali Temple
  • Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport, Goa
  • Nearest Railway Station: Ankola and Gokarna Road
  • Recommended Read: Places to Visit in Gokarana

5. Hampi, Karnataka

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Hampi is one of the top places to visit in South India. The world heritage site takes visitors back in time to the 15th and 16th century with its magnificent ruins. It makes everyone’s imagination come alive with remnants of temples, monuments, and havelis. Quaint cafes set up on rooftops offer a variety of cuisines and are the ideal places to spend the evening.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Key Attractions: Virupaksha Temple, Matanga Hill, Hemakuta Hill Temple, Vijaya Vitthala Temple, Hampi Architectural Ruins, Achyutaraya Temple, Kadalekalu Ganesha, Saasivekaalu Ganesha, Lotus Mahal, Hazara Rama Temple, and Stone Chariot
  • Nearest Airport: Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore
  • Nearest Railway Station: Hospet Junction
  • Recommended Read: Places to Visit in Hampi

6. Pondicherry, Puducherry

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Pondicherry is one of the few places in India that reflects the contribution French culture made to our heritage. On one hand, Pondicherry boasts of villas with teak columned courtyards and vibrant yellow walls and on the other is the peaceful aura of Auroville. Its respectful and safe culture and bohemian vibe have made this city one of the top tourist places for solo travelers in South India. There are also a number of beaches here where you can easily watch the day go by.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to March
  • Key Attractions: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Arulmigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Promenade Beach, Rock Beach, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, French War Memorial, Bharathi Park, Aayi Mandapam, and Varadharaja Perumal Temple. Learn more about temples in Pondicherry.
  • Nearest Airport: Pondicherry Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Pondicherry Railway Station
  • Places to Stay: Hotels in Pondicherry, Budget Hotels in Pondicherry, 

7. Munnar, Kerala

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With misty clouds and rolling green hills, Munnar has often been named one of the most picturesque hill stations of South India. It almost seems as though the place is carpeted with tea plantations. A visit here is all the encouragement one needs to sample the different aromas and flavors of tea. For nature lovers, there are elephants to watch, waterfalls to bathe in and trekking trails to walk along. This is also a popular weekend destination in South India

  • Best Time to Visit: October to May
  • Key Attractions: Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi, Tea Museum, Pothamedu Viewpoint, Attukal Waterfall, Nayamakad Waterfall, Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, Chokramudi Peak, and Carmelagiri Elephant Park. Learn more about things to do in Munnar
  • Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Aluva and Ernakulam

8. Kumarakom, Kerala

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With its beautiful blue lake, picturesque villages and bird sanctuary, Kumarakom is a nature lover’s delight and one of the top weekend destinations in South India. Whether you’re here for the weekend or the whole week, there’s plenty to do here such as an overnight stay on a houseboat, night fishing, cruising down the backwaters in a shikara, and birdwatching. If you’re craving a simple life, Kumarakom the place you need to be.

  • Best Time to Visit: November to February
  • Key Attractions: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Pathiramanal, Bay Island Driftwood Museum, Thanneermukkom Bund, Village Life Experience, Backwaters, Karthyayani Devi Temple, St. Thomas Church, and Sree Kumaramangalam Subramanyaswamy Temple.
  • Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kottayam

9. Kochi, Kerala

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Kochi is an amalgam of centuries-old synagogues, palaces, Chinese fishing nets that dip in and out of the water, majestic bungalows dating back to the Dutch era and quirky cafes. The city is listed amongst tourist places for solo travelers in South India as well as a popular family destination in South India. Apart from historic places, Kochi also has a large antique and reproduction market where you can indulge in retail therapy. And then, there’s the lip-smacking appams and other Kerala delicacies waiting to be relished.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Key Attractions: Fort Kochi, Cherai Beach, Mattancherry Palace, St. Francis CSI Church, Paradesi Synagogue, Hill Palace Museum, Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica, Willingdon Island, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, and Princess Street. Read more about churches in Kochi.
  • Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Ernakulam Junction and Ernakulam

10. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

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The southernmost tip of the Indian mainland, Kanyakumari is famed for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea, and the Indian Ocean. Kanyakumari is a small town that makes a big impact. During the day between these glorious moments, there are forts, churches, and temples to be visited and paddy fields to be photographed. A few minutes at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial can transport you to a whole new world.

  • Best Time to Visit: October to February
  • Key Attractions: Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari Beach, Sarvani Shaktipeeth Shri Bhagavathy Temple, Our Lady of Ransom Church, Trisea Sangamam, and Vattakottai Fort.
  • Nearest Airport: Trivandrum International Airport
  • Nearest Railway Station: Kanyakumari


That’s a wrap, folks! We’ve covered the best places to visit in South India in May for an adventure-packed holiday trip. As you plan your next getaway, remember these top tourist places in South India to visit in May for a memorable trip with your friends and family.